Continuing our look at some of the talent on offer this April, we stay on the offensive side of the football.
After the 2010 college football season, Knile Davis was a hot commodity. Davis had just rushed for a SEC best 1,322 yards averaging 147 yards a game over the final seven contests. He scored 13 rushing touchdowns and showed a great deal of big play potential. Unfortunately his career has quickly spiraled downwards. Recently Davis confirmed that he would forgo his senior season and elect for the 2013 NFL draft.
Projected 40 time: 4.50
Position: Running Back
No off the field issues, described as a hard worker with good work ethic. Was voted a team captain in 2011 although he did not play a single down that season. Good height and bulk and possessed good top end speed. Has improved in pass protection and shows a desire and willingness to stick his helmet in. Hits the hole hard and has a lower body that keeps churning away. Good patience and vision when running behind a lead blocker, quick cutter who spots gaps easily. Great initial burst and gets up to top speed quickly, top speed is exceptional and is a good open field runner. Not a one cut runner, can put up a shake and bake to get out of initial traffic. Very attacking style of running, will lower shoulder when needs to but possesses skills to be elusive as well as powerful. Despite not catching a ton of passes, he does have soft hands and if thrown to more would have caught a lot more - meaning he is a reliable option out of the back field. Good leverage in pass blocking and good blitz recognition to protect the QB.
Health is a major issue with Knile Davis. He has broken his right ankle twice, and his collarbone twice dating back to high school. He missed the entire 2011 season with a broken left ankle. That is a lot of wear and tear on a young body at a position that has a short NFL lifespan. Does not gain yardage after contact and is known to go down a little too easily. Plays with a high pad level and although he does have patience, on occasions when not running behind a lead blocker, he finds it hard to get through the traffic. Ball security has been an issue for him in the past, and needs to do a lot better locking that football up. His game was built on his elite speed, however in 2012 he did not look to possess the same kind of speed. Took longer to get into full gear and his longest run was below 30 yards. Lost his starting spot to Dennis Johnson and never seemed to be back to his old self.
After the 2010 season, I was all aboard the Knile Davis bandwagon. We all saw a patient back with good vision and home run potential. However if you saw him in 2012 you would hardly recognize him and he didn't look anywhere close to being a home run guy. I like giving good running backs another chance, but 5 broken bones and not even out of college? that's a lot of baggage and he is about to come into a league where they run faster and hit harder. The price needs to be right.
Would I Draft Knile Davis For The Jets?
Something in me says he still has a chance to make it. He didn't have much work last off-season as he was coming back from his injury. I would take a chance in the 4th or 5th round. Will he last that long? I think someone will take him in the 4th. I just don't trust that medical history and wouldn't be interested in taking him in the money rounds (1-3).